Ten Questions to Ask your Prospective Lender
Ask prospective lenders these questions to help ensure you make the best choice:
How much is it? Fixed or variable? When does interest capitalize and how often?
Is there a maximum? Can I borrow more than the cost of my education? Can I use the loan to pay off a prior year’s balance owed to my school?
Is a co-signer required? Is there a co-signer release process? Will having a co-signer lower the interest rate?
Is there an application fee? Are there any disbursement fees? Are there any repayment fees?
Is the loan check payable to me or the school? How long does it take to receive the funds?
Are there interest rate reductions that reward me for on-time payments or other actions?
What will my minimum payment be? When does payment begin? How long is the repayment period? Is there a prepayment penalty?
Will I get one bill for all of my private loans? Can private loan bills be combined with federal loan bills?
Whom do I call with questions about the application? Is that the number I’ll call once I’m making payments?
Will payments be deferred while I’m in school? If so, will interest continue to accrue?